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Illustration by Matt Kenyon
Saturday, 14 January, 2017There is one week to go and all is confusion. Next Friday Donald Trump will take the oath of office and be sworn in as president of the United States. But still no one has the first clue how to handle what’s coming. Politicians, journalists and diplomats, in the US and around the world, are searching for guidance, desperately flicking through the pages of the rulebook, a manual full of past precedents and norms that they have spent their careers mastering – but that Trump burned and shredded months ago.
In normal times, even those few parts of this week’s “dirty dossier” affair that are firmly established would be enough to undo an incoming president. Put aside the lurid details of what went on in Moscow hotel rooms. Assume they’re untrue. Focus instead on the fact that the US Department of Justice sought and eventually gained secret court warrants to investigate two Russian banks and their links with a series of Trump associates.
Jonathan Freedland is a weekly columnist and writer for the Guardian. He is also a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and presents BBC Radio 4's contemporary history series, The Long View. In 2014 he was awarded the Orwell special prize for journalism.
Trump Nation is an ongoing reader discussion led by James Fallows regarding Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency. (For a related series, see “Trump Time Capsule,” as well as “Will Trump Voters and Clinton Voters Ever Relate?”) To sound off in a substantive way, especially if you disagree with us, please send a note: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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